Pune: The recently published report of the National Achievement Survey conducted by Ministry of Human Resource Department (MHRD) and National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has again raised eyebrows over the much-criticised education system and its efficiency in our country.
The survey, conducted in November 2017 for Classes III, V and VIII in government and government-aided schools in three categories - Mathematics, EVS (Environment Science) and Languages, showed that as the classes progress, the students in the State are responding to lesser and lesser number of questions in these subjects.
This is the largest assessment survey conducted in the country and is amongst the largest conducted in the world.
The attainment of the competency-based learning outcomes of 2.2 million students from 1,10,000 schools across 700 districts in all 36 states and union territories were assessed.
One of the findings of the survey showed that the academic competency of the students seems to go down as the classes progress.
The report stated that in Class III, on an average, children are responding to 65 per cent (Mathematics), 69 per cent (EVS) and 70 per cent (Language) questions correctly.
Then, in Class V, on an average, children are responding to 52 per cent (Mathematics), 56 per cent (EVS) and 61 per cent (Language) questions
The numbers worsen even further as in Class VIII, children are responding to 63 per cent (Language), 40 per cent (Mathematics), 40 per cent (Science) and 42 per cent (Social Science) questions correctly.
Speaking about the issue, Basanti Roy, former Mumbai divisional secretary, Maharashtra State Board, said that competency of the teachers might be one of the reasons behind this. “The competency of the teachers needs to be stable throughout, they need to be well-equipped. If their competency decreases, it will in turn also affect the students. Only qualitative teaching will ensure students’ progress.”
She further said, “Self-learning cannot be expected amongst the students at the school level. School students are dependent on the teachers, and teachers need to realise the seriousness of this. We need to work hard and revolutionise our teaching system in order to change the education scenario in our country. Often, we see that the students lack the knowledge of basic concepts, which makes it difficult for them to understand the difficult topics at the higher level. This should change.”
Speaking to Sakal Times on earlier occasions, educationists have also pointed out that the evaluation pattern in our country is a huge hindrance, and experiential learning needs to be promoted.
Girl-boy competency ratio
The survey also shows that the girls are outshining boys as far as the academic progress at the secondary level education is concerned. While the ratio remains quite the same for all the three classes, concerning that the circumstances of girls doing better than boys in academics fade away in the higher education. Geeta Mahashabde, education expert, said, “Surveys, board examinations, or entrance examinations test the students in very limited parameters. In such a situation, it is very unfair to deduct who outshines whom. However, we always tend to do this mistake.”
She further added, “As far as the varying ratio is concerned, girls and boys are born with the same mental capabilities. It’s the upbringing and the opportunities given to them, which are different most of the times. The pressure they face and the responsibilities that they have, too, are different. This affects their academic competency a lot, and these are the significant reasons why we observe a gender-related difference in the competency.”
Highlights of the survey
91 per cent children could understand what teachers say in the classroom. 90 per cent children in Class III and 91 per cent in Class V and Class VIII could understand what teachers say in the classroom.
12 per cent of the school buildings need significant repair.
95 per cent children across the grades like to come to school.
18 per cent students in Class III, Class V and 16 per cent students in Class VIII find it difficult to travel.
For 76 per cent students in Class III, 71 per cent in Class V and 68 per cent students in Class VIII, the language used at home and by teachers are same.
84 per cent students in Class III, 83 per cent in Class V and 79 per cent students in Class VIII go out and play during games period.
In the district-wise report of the State, it was observed that districts like Sindhudurga, Ratnagiri, Satara and Beed left behind Pune, Mumbai, Kolhapur as far as the academic competency of students was concerned.